I have a Mom and a Jack and a Dad and a Carol.
My parents divorced when I was nine so the majority of my really self aware years were spent shuttling between two different households. I lived with my Mom most of the time and saw my Dad every other weekend. When my parents first divorced my Dad moved back in with his parents.
This story is a little hazy because I was nine and let’s face it until something directly affects them most nine year olds don’t really pay attention.
Gramma and Grampa lived in a nice trailer park when trailer parks were cool. It had a clubhouse with a large pool. Okay that’s possibly what made the trailer park cool to me. I love swimming and would spend as much time as my Dad would put up with at the pool. One summer morning I was up early and ready to head to the pool as soon as it opened. Dad was a little slower getting ready and I was eager to get to the pool so I am pretty sure I was your average bundle of 9 year old bouncy energy.
We walked along the road to the thwop thwop thwop of our flip flops smacking our feet. I’m pretty sure mine were already getting too small for my feet since I grew like a frickin weed that summer. I’m also pretty sure I remember my Dad’s attention getting taken over as we made the turn towards the clubhouse. There was lady out working in the little garden in front of her trailer. We kept walking but I am pretty sure Dad looked back at her a couple of times.
I seem to recall that that visit to the pool was shorter than I really wanted it to be but on our way back to Gramma and Grampas trailer, right at the turn where we could see thier trailer Dad sent me on ahead to get Gramma to make me lunch. I flip flopped my gangly way there, my wet towel fluttering like the cape I liked to pretend it was.
Dad arrived home shortly after I’d finished lunch. I think he seemed really pleased with himself.
Later when I asked Carol how she and Dad met she told me that one summer day this handsome man walked up in his swim trunks with a towel over his shoulder and complimented her on her flower garden. They’d talked a little bit and he’d asked her out.
That may not be exactly how the story went but its how I remember it since it means I helped to facilitate my Dad meeting Carol. She’s a pretty cool lady and my Dad seems pretty happy with her. I took my cue on being a stepmom from her. Not the Evil part but the parts about caring about my spouse’s kid and not being a jerk. I know my little tomboy self wasn’t quite the kid she was prepared for but we got on well enough that I claim her as one of my parents.